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G.R. No.

L-24757 October 25, 1967

MARCOS B. COMILANG, petitioner-appellant,

vs.

HON. GENEROSO A. BUENDIA, Judge of the City Court of Baguio; ABDON DELENELA, GUILLERMO
PEREZ and THE PROVINCIAL SHERIFF OF BAGUIO AND BENGUET, Mountain Province,
respondents-appellees.

Bienvenido L. Garcia for petitioner-appellant.

Daniel M. Zarate for respondents-appellees.

ANGELES, J.:

On appeal from an order of the Court of First Instance of Baguio City, in Civil Case No. 1440, denying
the petition of Marcos Comilang to annul the order of the Municipal Court of Baguio City, in Civil Case
No. 1433, dated August 11, 1964, directing the sheriff of Mountain Province to place Abdon Delenela
and Guillermo Perez in possession of a parcel of land occupied by the petitioner.

The antecedents of the controversy which culminated in this appeal are as follows:

About the year 1908, Nicolas Comilang staked a mining claim known as the "Bua Fraction Mineral
Claim" over a parcel of land in Tuding, Benguet, Mountain Province, with an area of 76,809 square
meters, more or less. His exploration works in the mining claim did not last for long, for he abandoned
it, and stopped the exploration, but he continued to live in the house he built on a portion of the land
with his wife, brothers and sisters.

In the year 1918, Macario Comilang also settled on a portion of the land with an area of about one (1)
hectare, for residential and agricultural purposes. After his death, his daughter, Fabiana Comilang
Perez remained to live in the house built by her father on the land. Still later, other relatives of the old
Nicolas Comilang settled and built their own houses over other portions of the land, one of which
houses was acquired by Abdon Delenela who now resides on the land with the other Comilang heirs.

Surface rights over the area embraced in the original Bua Fraction Mineral Claim of Nicolas Comilang
soon became the subject of litigation in the Court of First Instance of Baguio City (Civil Case No. 250 —
Action to Quiet Title), instituted by the heirs of Guillerma, Marcelina, Julian, Timoteo, Melecio and
Macario, all surnamed Comilang, against appellant herein Marcos Comilang who claimed to have
bought the rights and interest of Nicolas Comilang in the old mining claim. In a decision rendered in
said case No. 250, dated November 26, 1952, the court dismissed both claims of ownership of the
plaintiffs and the defendant and declared the area public land. The court, however, recognized the
possession of the parties over certain specified portions of the area, among which was an area of
about one and one-half (1-1/2) hectares in possession of Marcos Comilang, which has been declared
for taxation purposes in his name. This decision was affirmed by the Court of Appeals in CA-G.R. No.
11157-R on October 29, 1955.

In the same year, the 1-1/2 hectares of land occupied by Marcos Comilang, then declared under Tax
Declaration No. 4771 in his name, was levied upon and sold at public auction by the sheriff of
Mountain Province to satisfy a judgment for a sum of money obtained by the spouses Jose Coloma
and Eugenia Rumbaoa against Marcos Comilang in the Court of First Instance of Baguio, in Civil Case
No. 1433. The judgment creditors were the purchasers at the auction sale, and a certificate of sale
was executed in their favor by the sheriff on June 1, 1957.

In the meantime, an application for lode patent covering the Bua Fraction Mineral Claim was filed
with the Bureau of Mines. Abdon Delenela and his co-heirs filed their opposition to the application.
Pending the controversy before the Bureau of Mines, Delenela and his co-heirs instituted an action
for determination of their rights on the land in the Court of First Instance of Baguio City, docketed as
Civil Case No. 735. The parties submitted an amicable settlement recognizing co-ownership among
themselves of the Bua Mineral Claim. In a decision rendered in said Case No. 735, dated March 3,
1958, the court awarded one-half in undivided share in the mineral claim in favor of Marcos Comilang,
and the other half also in undivided share in favor of Abdon Delenela and co-heirs.

Later, in the exercise of their right as co-owners, Abdon Delenela and Guillermo Perez, with the
knowledge and conformity of Marcos Comilang, redeemed and bought from the Coloma spouses, the
latter's rights, title, interest and claim to the 1-1/2 hectares of land acquired under the certificate of
sale thereof executed in the latter's favor by the sheriff on June 1, 1957. This redemption sale took
place on June 11, 1958.

On February 9, 1959, the Director of Mines recommended the issuance of a lode patent over the Bua
Mineral Claim in favor of Marcos Comilang, Delenela, and the other claimants in the proportion of
one-half (1/2) in undivided share in favor of Marcos Comilang, and the other one-half (1/2) also in
undivided share in favor of Delenela and the other heirs pursuant to the decision of March 3, 1958,
aforementioned, in Civil Case No. 735.

On August 12, 1959, upon motion of Abdon Delenela and Perez, who have thus acquired and
succeeded to the rights of the Coloma spouses on the 1-1/2 hectares, the Municipal Court of Baguio
City issued a writ of possession in their favor directing the sheriff of Mountain Province to evict
Marcos Comilang and his wife from the 1-1/2 hectares of land sold in the execution sale.

In a petition for certiorari with preliminary injunction filed in the Court of First Instance of Baguio City,
docketed as Civil Case No. 897, Maxima Nieto de Comilang, wife of Marcos Comilang, questioned the
power of the Municipal Court to issue said writ of possession on two grounds, namely: (1) that
conjugal property had been levied upon and sold in the execution sale, and her share therein is
affected; and (2) that there can be no severance of surface rights over a mineral claim located under
the Philippine Bill of 1902, and petitioner argued that the sheriff could not have validly sold the
surface rights in the execution sale of June 1, 1957. On February 23, 1961, the court rendered a
decision in said case, holding that the writ of possession issued by the respondent Municipal Judge
was within his competence and jurisdiction. On appeal to the Supreme Court, docketed as G. R. No.
L-18897, a decision was rendered on March 31, 1964, the dispositive portion of which is as follows:

For the foregoing considerations the judgment appealed from is hereby affirmed insofar as it denies
the petition of Maxima Nieto de Comilang to exclude from the sale, or annul the sale on execution of
the residential lot formerly owned by her husband, of 1-1/2 hectares covered in the final certificate of
sale; but that part of the appealed decision holding that the sale at public auction included the 1/2
undivided share of Marcos Comilang to the Bua Mineral Claim, is hereby set aside and said mineral
rights of Marcos Comilang are hereby declared free from the execution or sale on execution.

The decision having become final, Abdon Delenela and Guillermo Perez reiterated their motion in the
Municipal Court of Baguio City in Civil Case No. 1433, praying that an alias writ of possession be issued
to evict Marcos Comilang and his wife from the 1-1/2 hectares of land in question. On August 11,
1964, over the objection of Marcos Comilang, the court issued the writ prayed for.

For a second time, a petition for certiorari and mandamus with preliminary injunction was instituted
by Marcos Comilang in the Court of First Instance of Baguio City seeking the annulment of the order
granting the alias writ of possession in favor of Delenela and Perez, and again the Court of First
Instance of Baguio threw out the petition in its order dated October 22, 1964. The court expressed its
views in the following rationale:

The one and one-half hectares of land referred to therein (S.C. decision) is the same parcel of land
and house above-described which was already sold at public auction to the respondents, Guillermo
Perez and Abdon Delenela.
The said judgment is res adjudicata and the consequent execution, and the writ of possession is but
its necessary consequence.

All the authorities cited by the petitioner were no longer of any value because they were necessarily
passed upon and disposed of in the course of finally deciding the case.

Wherefore, the petition for certiorari is hereby denied.

Marcos Comilang is now before Us on appeal from this last decision.

Appellant contends that the lower court erred in denying his petition on the ground of res adjudicata,
arguing that it was his wife Maxima Nieto de Comilang, and not be, the party in the former case
appealed to the Supreme Court in G. R. No. L-18897. Therefore, it is claimed, one of the requisites of
res adjudicata is lacking. We find no merit in the argument. As husband and wife and before the
dissolution of their marital union, their interest in the said property is one and the same. The fact that
the wife was the party in the former case while it is the husband who is the petitioner in the instant
case, when admittedly both actions were instituted for the protection of their common interest
therein, is no argument to the proposition that there is no identity of parties in these cases. Such
identity of interest is enough to hold that they are privy to one another, having a common interest in
the property. Neither is it tenable to contend that the issue involved in the two cases are not identical.
It cannot be disputed that in both cases, the main relief sought is the annulment of writs of
possession issued by the Municipal Court of Baguio City directing the sheriff concerned to evict the
spouses Comilang from the land, and the questions involved in both cases pertain to the legality or
validity of those writs aforementioned. In the decision in L-18897, this Court sustained the validity of
the execution sale. There can be no doubt, therefore, that the judgment in the former case is binding
in the instant proceeding.

It is argued further by the appellant that the final certificate of sale conveying the land described in
Tax Declaration No. 4771 to the purchasers in the execution sale is not a valid disposition of a portion
of the public domain, and specially in view of the subsequent issuance of a mineral lode patent over
the Bua Mineral Claim by the Director of Mines (Patent issued on November 7, 1966) whereby full
ownership not only of the minerals therein but also of the surface ground have been conveyed to the
patentee thereof, and, therefore, the Municipal Court of Baguio City may no longer eject them from
the land.

We do not agree with the contention of the appellant.

The Court has not overlooked the doctrines heavily relied upon by the appellant that the moment the
locator discovered a valuable mineral deposit on the land located, and perfected his location in
accordance with the provisions of the Philippine Bill of 1902, the power of the Government to deprive
him of the exclusive right to possession of the located claim was gone, the land had become mineral
land and they were excepted from the lands that could be granted to any other person (McDaniel v.
Apacible and Cuisia, 42 Phil. 749, 756); and that when a location of a mining claim is perfected under
said law, it has the effect of a grant by the United States of the right of present possession, with the
right to the exclusive enjoyment of all the surface ground as well as of all the minerals within the lines
of the claim (Gold Creek Mining Corporation v. Rodriguez, 66 Phil. 259). We are also cognizant of the
rule invoked by the appellant that when circumstances have arisen subsequent to the remanding of
the record from the Supreme Court to the trial court, a stay of execution may be allowed on grounds
which are in their nature peculiarly equitable, as for instance, to give defendant an opportunity to set
off a claim against plaintiff (Chua A. H. Lee v. Mapa, 51 Phil. 624); or when after judgment has been
rendered and it has become final, facts and circumstances transpire which rendered its execution
impossible and unjust, the interested party may ask the court to alter or modify the judgment to
harmonize the same with justice and the facts (De la Costa v. Cleopas, 67 Phil. 686; Realiza v. Duarte,
L-25027, L-20528 & L-20529, August 31, 1967); and this remains true, notwithstanding affirmance of
the judgment by the Supreme Court, which imparts no higher quality than to a final judgment
unappealed from, except that it cannot be questioned or reviewed (Chua A. H. Lee v. Mapa, supra).
However, these authorities, by no means, render the argument of herein appellant unassailable .
There are factual differences in the settings of the case cited and the one at bar, the equities of which
require the application of a different rule.

To begin with, the 1-½ hectares portions of the Bua Fraction Mineral Claim described in Tax
Declaration No. 4771 in the name of herein appellant was levied upon and sold at public auction to
satisfy the money judgment against him in Civil Case No. 1433 of the Municipal Court of Baguio City,
and the corresponding certificate of sale was issued in favor of the judgment creditors. Interest
acquired under like certificates of sale alone has been described as more than a lien on the property,
more than an equitable estate, an inchoate legal title to the property. (21 Am. Jur., section 264, p.
133). The validity of that sale was questioned when the Municipal Court ordered the eviction of
appellant from the land sold on execution, and the Supreme Court declared in L-18897 that the sale
was valid. The sale operated to divest appellant of his rights to the land which vested in the
purchasers at the auction sale. The parties herein subsequently litigated their rights to the mineral
claim in Civil Case No. 735 of the Court of First Instance of Baguio City, and on the basis of their
amicable agreement (appellant was a party in the case), the court declared the Bua Mineral Claim
co-ownership property of the parties thereto "except the improvements existing thereon" (p. 9,
appellant's petition). There is no room for doubt, therefore, that the right to possess or own the
surface ground is separate and distinct from the mineral rights over the same land. And when the
application for lode patent to the mineral claim was prosecuted in the Bureau of Mines, the said
application could not have legally included the surface ground sold to another in the execution sale.
Consequently, We have to declare that the patent procured thereunder, at least with respect to the
1-½ hectares sold in execution pertains only to the mineral right and does not include the surface
ground of the land in question.

Viewed from another perspective, We have arrived at the same conclusion. In his letter to the
Secretary of Agriculture and Natural Resources, dated February 9, 1959, recommending the approval
of Mineral Lode Patent No. V-24, the Director of Mines said that applicants Marcos Comilang, et al.,
had acquired vested rights on the Bua Fraction Mineral Claim before the Constitution of the
Philippines was approved on November 15, 1935. Under the doctrines laid down in McDaniel v.
Apacible, and in Gold Creek Mining v. Rodriguez, supra, said vested rights include the ownership of
both the minerals and the surface ground; that such was the locator's right before as well as after the
issuance of the patent; and that such was vested property although fee remains in the Government
until patent issues. Such vested right of herein appellant passed to the appellees under the sale on
execution aforementioned of the 1-½ hectares portion of the mineral claim. The subsequent issuance
of the Lode Patent to the entire area of the Bua Mineral Claim did not militate against that acquired
rights, for Sec. 45 of the Philippine Bill of 1902 expressly provides that nothing in said Act shall be
deemed to impair any lien which may have attached in any way whatever prior to the issuance of the
patent. Moreover, it is significant to note that the very Lode Patent No. V-24 aforementioned
expressly declares on its face that "the mining premises hereby conveyed shall be held subject to all
vested lights and accrued rights", the legal import of which is that the patentee Marcos Comilang,
shall hold the1½ hectares portion of the area embraced in the patent as described in the Tax
Declaration No. 4771, in trust for the appellees.

Apart and independent of the statute, there is a rule in American Law known as the "Doctrine of
Relation", to the effect "that all parts and ceremonies necessary to complete a conveyance shall be
taken together as one act, and operate from the substantial part by relation." This "substantial part"
is recognized as the "original act" which is to be preferred, and to this all subsequent acts are to have
relation. This doctrine of relation appears to have been often applied to the adjudication of real
actions by American courts.

The case of Landes v. Brant, 10 How. 348, U. S. 13 Law ed., 449, broadly asserts this doctrine of
relation. In that case, a Spanish claim of land was acquired by Clamorgan under Dodier, the original
claimant, by virtue of ten consecutive years possession prior to December 20, 1903. Such claim was
authorized by the Act of Congress. Clamorgan was entitled to a patent by virtue of a certificate of
confirmation made by commissioners. His petition for such confirmation was filed in December, 1805.
In 1808 judgment was recovered against Clamorgan, the claim was sold and the sheriff's deed
executed to McNair. It was held that the execution sale passed to the purchaser all the title that could
have passed from Clamorgan to McNair by a quitclaim deed; that applying the doctrine of relation
and taking all the parts and ceremonies necessary to complete the title together as one act, then the
confirmation of 1811 and the patent of 1845 must be taken to relate to the first act; that of filing the
claim in 1805. On this assumption, intermediate conveyances made by the confirmed or by the sheriff
on his behalf, of a date after the first substantial act, are covered by the legal title and pass that title
to the alienee. And on this ground, the deed made by the sheriff to McNair is valid. This doctrine has
been applied in a great number of decisions.

Applying the same rule to the case before Us, it is seen that the original act that ripened into Mineral
Lode Patent No. V-24 was the location of the mineral claim and the recording thereof in the Mining
Recorder of Mt. Province sometime in 1922. Vested right to the property accrued to the locator
before 1935, although patent was issued only recently (November 7, 1966). This Patent cannot nullify
the intermediate conveyance of that right in the execution sale of 1958 to herein appellees.

Finally, the argument that the proceedings for the issuance of a writ of possession, as has been
resorted to by the appellees, is not the proper court procedure, the appellant intimating that it should
be by a proper action. The contention does not deserve serious consideration. The corresponding
rights of the parties to the property in question had been ventilated in the various cases affecting it,
and the decisions in those cases have sustained the validity of the sale. It is now a matter of right on
the part of the appellees to be placed in possession of the land by clear mandate of Sec. 35, Rule 39 of
the Rules of Court which requires that upon execution and delivery of the final deed of sale in
execution the possession of the property shall be given to the purchaser or last redemptioner unless a
third party is actually holding the property adversely to the judgment debtor. As this Court said in Tan
Soo Huat v. Ongwico, 63 Phil. 747:

There is no law in this jurisdiction whereby the purchaser at a sheriff's sale of real property is obliged
to bring a separate and independent suit for possession after the one-year period for redemption has
expired and after he has obtained the sheriff's final certificate of sale. There is neither legal ground
nor reason of public policy precluding the court from ordering the sheriff in this case to yield
possession of the property purchased at public auction where it appears that the judgment debtor is
the one in possession thereof and no rights of third persons are involved.

WHEREFORE, the decision appealed from is affirmed. Costs against appellants.

DIGEST

28 Phil. 514
ANGELES, J.:

On appeal from an order of the Court of First Instance of Baguio City, in Civil Case No. 1440, denying
the petition of Marcos Comilang to annul the order of the Municipal Court of Baguio City, in Civil Case
No. 1433, dated August 11, 1964, directing the sheriff of Mountain Province to place Abdon Delenela
and Guillermo Perez in possession of a parcel of land occupied by the petitioner.

The antecedents of the controversy which culminated in this appeal are as follows:

About the year 1908, Nicolas Comilang staked a mining claim known as the "Bua Fraction Mineral
Claim" over a parcel of land in Tuding, Benguet, Mountain Province, with an area of 76,809 square
meters, more or less. His exploration works in the mining claim did not last for long, for he
abandoned it, and stopped the exploration, but he continued to live in the house he built on a portion
of the land with his wife, broth-ers and sisters.

In the year 1918, Macario Comilang also settled on a portion of the land with an area of about one (1)
hectare, for residential and agricultural purposes. After his death, his daughter, Fabiana Comilang
Perez remained to live in the house built by her father on the land. Still later, other relatives of the
old Nicolas Comilang settled and built their own houses over other portions of the land, one of which
houses was acquired by Abdon Delenela who now resides on the land with the other Comilang heirs.

Surface rights over the area embraced in the ori-ginal Bua Fraction Mineral Claim of Nicolas Comilang
soon became the subject of litigation in the Court of First Instance of Baguio City (Civil Case No. 250 -
Action to Quiet Title, instituted by the heirs of Guillermo, Marcelina, Julian, Timoteo, Melecio and
Macario, all surnamed Comilang, against appellant herein Marcos Comilang who claimed to have
bought the rights and interest of Nicolas Comilang in the old mining claim. In a decision rendered in
said case No. 250, dated November 26, 1952, the court dismissed both claims of ownership of the
plaintiffs and the defendant and declared the area public land. The court, however, recognized the
possession of the parties over certain specified portions of the area, among which was an area of
about one and one-half (1-1/2) hectares in possession of Marcos Comilang, which has been declared
for taxation purposes in his name. This decision was affirmed by the Court of Appeals in CA- G.R. No.
11157-R on October 29, 1955.

In the same year, the 1-1/2 hectares of land occupied by Marcos Comilang, then declared under Tax
Declaration No. 4771 in his name, was levied upon and sold at public auction by the sheriff of
Mountain Province to satisfy a judgment for a sum of money obtained by the spouses Jose Coloma
and Eugenia Rumbaoa against Marcos Comilang in the Court of First Instance of Baguio, in Civil Case
No. 1433. The judgment creditors were the purchasers at the auction sale, and a certificate of sale
was executed in their favor by the sheriff on June 1, 1957.

In the mealtime, an application for lode patent covering the Bua Fraction Mineral Claim was filed with
the Bureau of Mines. Abdon Delenela and his co-heirs filed their opposition to the application.
Pending the controversy before the Bureau of Mines, Delenela and his co-heirs instituted an action
for determination of their rights on the land in the Court of First Instance of Baguio City, docketed as
Civil Case No. 735. The parties submitted an amicable settlement recognizing co-ownership among
themselves of the Bua Mineral Claim. In a decision rendered in said Case No. 735, dated March 3,
1958, the court awarded one-half in undivided share in the mineral claim in favor of Marcos Comilang,
and the other half also in undivided share in favor of Ab-don Delenela and co-heirs.

Later, in the exercise of their right as co-owners, Abdon Delenela and Guillermo Perez, with the
knowledge and conformity of Marcos Comilang, redeemed and bought from the Colons spouses, the
latter's rights, title, interest and claim to the 1-1/2 hectares of land acquired under the certificate of
sale thereof executed in the latter's favor by the sheriff on June 1, 1957. This redemption sale took
place on June 11, 1958.
On February 9, 1959, the Director of Mines recommended the issuance of a lode patent over the Bua
Mineral Claim in favor of Marcos Comilang, Delenela, and the other claimants in the proportion of
one-half (1/2) in undivided share in favor of Marcos Comilang, and the other one-half (1/2) also in
undivided share In favor of Delenela and the other heirs in pursuant to the decision of March 3, 1958,
aforementioned, in Civil Case No. 735.

On August 12, 1959, upon motion of Abdon Delenela and Perez, who have thus acquired and
succeeded to the rights of the Coloma spouses on the 1-1/2 hectares, the Municipal Court of Baguio
City issued a writ of possession in their favor directing the sheriff of Mountain Province to evict
Marcos Comilang and his wife from the 1-1/2 hectares of land sold in the execution sale.

In a petition for certiorari with preliminary in-junction filed in the Court of First Instance of Baguio City,
docketed as Civil Case No. 897, Maxima Nieto de Comilang, wife of Marcos Comilang questioned the
power of the Municipal Court to issue said writ of possession on two grounds, namely: (1) that
conjugal property had been levied upon and sold in the execution sale, and her share therein is
affected; and (2) that there can be no severance of surface rights over a mineral claim located under
the Philippine Bill of 1902, and petitioner argued that the sheriff could not have validly sold the
surface rights in the execution sale of June 1, 1957. On February 23, 1961, the court rendered a
decision in said case, holding that the writ of possession issued by the respondent Municipal Judge
was within his competence and jurisdiction. On appeal to the Supreme Court, docketed as G. R. No.
L-18897, a decision was rendered on March 31, 1964, the dispositive portion of which is as follows:

"For the foregoing considerations the judgment appealed from is hereby affirmed insofar as it denies
the petition of Maxima Nieto de Comilang to exclude from the sale, or annul the sale on execution of
the residential lot formerly owned by her husband, of 1-1/2 hectares covered in the final certificate of
sale; but that part of the appealed decision holding that the sale at public auction included the 1-1/2
undivided share of Marcos Comilang to the Bua Mineral Claim, is hereby set aside and said mineral
rights of Marcos Comilang are hereby declared free from the execution or sale on execution."

The decision having become final, Abdon Delenela and Guillermo Perez reiterated their motion in the
Municipal Court of Baguio City in Civil Case No. 1433, praying that an alias writ of possession be issued
to evict Marcos Comilang and his wife from the 1-1/2 hectares of land in question. On August 11,
1964, over the objection of Marcos Comilang, the court issued the writ prayed for.

For a second time, a petition for certiorari and mandamus with preliminary injunction was instituted
by Marcos Comilang in the Court of First Instance of Baguio City seeking the annulment of the order
granting the alias writ of possession in favor of Delenela and Perez, and again the Court of First
Instance of Baguio threw out the petition in its order dated October 22, 1964. The court expressed
its views in the following rationale:

"The one and one-half hectares of land referred to therein (S. C. decision) is the same parcel of land
and house above-described which was already sold at public auction to the respondents, Guillermo
Perez and Abdon Delenela.

"The said judgment is res adjudicata and the consequent execution, and the writ of possession is but
its necessary consequence.

"All the authorities cited by the petitioner were no longer of any value because they were necessarily
passed upon and disposed of in the course of finally deciding the case.

"Wherefore, the petition for certiorari is hereby denied."

Marcos Comilang is now before Us on appeal from this last decision.

Appellant contends that the lower court erred in denying his petition on the ground of res adjudicata,
arguing that it was his wife Maxima Nieto de Comilang, and not he, the, party in the former case
appealed to the Supreme Court in G. R. No. L-18897. Therefore, it is claimed, one of the requisites
of res adjudicate is lacking. We find no merit in the argument. As husband and wife and before
the dissolution of their marital union, their interest in the said property is one and the same. The
fact that the wife was the party in the former case while it is now the husband who is the pe-titioner
in the instant case, when admittedly both actions were instituted for the protection of their common
interest therein, is no argument to the proposition that there is no identity of parties in these cases.
Such identity of interest is enough to hold that they are privy to one another, having a common
interest in the property. Neither is it to able to contend that the issue involved in the two cases are
not identical. It cannot be disputed that in both cases, the main relief sought is the annulment of writs
of possession issued by the Municipal Court of Baguio City directing the sheriff concerned to evict the
spouses Comilang from the land, and the questions involved in both cases pertain to the legality or
validity of those writs aforementioned. In the decision in L-18897, this Court sustained the validity
of the execution sale. There can be no doubt, therefore, that the judgment in the former case is
binding in the instant proceeding.

It is argued further by the appellant that the final certificate of sale conveying the land described in
Tax Declaration No. 4771 to the purchasers in the execution sale is not a valid disposition of a portion
of the public domain, and specially in view of the subsequent issuance of a mineral lode patent over
the Bua Mineral Claim by the Director of Mines (Patent issued on November 7, 1966) whereby full
ownership not only of the minerals therein but also of the surface ground have been conveyed to the
patentee thereof, and, there-fore, the Municipal Court of Baguio City may no longer eject them from
the land.

We do not agree with the contention of the appellant.

The Court has not overlooked the doctrines heavily relied upon by the appellant that the moment the
locator discovered a valuable mineral deposit on the land located, and perfected his location in
accordance with the provisions of the Philippine Bill of 1902, the power of the Government to deprive
him of the exclusive right to possession of the located claim was gone, the land had become mineral
land and they were excepted from the lands that could be granted to any other person (McDaniel v.
Apacible and Cuisia, 42 Phil. 749, 756); and that when a Iocation of a mining claim is perfected under
said law, it has the effect of a grant by the United States of the right of present possession, with the
right to the exclusive enjoyment of all the surface ground as well as of all the minerals within the lines
of the claim (Gold Creek Mining Corporation vs. Rodriguez, 66 Phil. 259). We are also cognizant of
the rule invoked by the appellant that when circumstances have arisen subsequent to the remanding
of the record from the Supreme Court to the trial court, a stay of execution may be allowed on
grounds which are in their nature peculiarly equitable, as for instance, to give defendant an
opportunity to set off a claim against plaintiff (Chua A. H. Lee v. Mapa, 51 Phil. 624); or when after
judgment has been rendered and it has become final, facts and circumstances transpire which render
its execution impossible and unjust, the interested party may ask the court to alter or modify the
judgment to harmonize the same with justice and the facts (De la Costa v. Cleopas, 67 Phil. 686;
Realiza v. Duarte, L-25027, 20528 & 20529, August 31, 1967); and this remains true, notwithstanding
affir-mance of the judgment by the Supreme Court, which imparts no higher quality than to a final
judgment un appealed from, except that it cannot he questioned or reviewed (Chua A. H. Lee v. Mapa,
supra). However, these authorities, by no means, render the argument of herein appellant
unassailable. There are factual differences in the settings of the case cited and the one at bar, the
equities of which require the application of a different rule.

To begin with, the 1-1/2 hectares portions of the Bua Fraction Mineral Claim described in Tax
Declaration No. 4771 in the name of herein appellant was levied upon and sold at public auction to
satisfy the money judgment against him in Civil Case No. 1433 of the Mu-nicipal Court of Baguio City,
and the corresponding certificate of sale was issued in favor of the judgment creditors. Interest
acquired under like certificates of sale alone has been described as more than a lien on the property,
more than an equitable estate, an inchoate legal title to the property. (21 Am. Jur., section 264, p.
133). The validity of that sale was questioned when the Municipal Court ordered the eviction of
appellant from the land sold on execution, and the Supreme Court declared in L-18897 that the sale
was valid. The sale operated to divest appellant of his rights to the land which vested in the
purchasers at the auction sale. The parties herein subsequently litigated their rights to the mineral
claim in Civil Case No. 735 of the Court of First Instance of Baguio City, and on the basis of their
amicable agreement (appellant was a party in the case), the court declared the Bua Mineral Claim
co-ownership property of the parties thereto "except the improvements existing thereon" (p. 9,
appellant's petition). There is no room for doubt, therefore, that the right to possess or own the
surface ground is separate and distinct from the mineral rights over the same land. And when the
application for lode patent to the mineral claim was prosecuted in Bureau of Mines, the said
application could not have legally included the surface ground sold to another in the execution sales:
Consequently, We have to declare that the pa-tent procured thereunder, at least with respect to the
1-1/2 hectares sold in execution, pertains only to the mineral right and does not include the surface
ground of the land in question.

Viewed from another perspective, We have arrived at the same conclusion. In his letter to the
Secretary of Agriculture and Natural Resources, dated February 9, 1959, recommending the approval
of Mineral Lode Patent No. V-24, the Director of Mines said that applicants Marcos Comilang, et al.
had acquired vested rights on the Bua Fraction Mineral Claim before the Constitution of the
Philippines was approved on November 15, 1935. Under the doctrines laid down in McDaniel v.
Apacible, and in Gold Creek Mining v. Rodriguez, supra, said vested rights include the ownership of
both the minerals and the surface ground; that such was the locator's right before as well as after the
issuance of the patent; and that such was vested property although fee remains in the Government
until patent issues. Such vested right of herein appellant passed to the appellees under the sale on
execution aforementioned of the 1-1/2 hectares portion of the mineral claim. The subsequent
issuance of the Lode Patent to the entire area of the Bua Mineral Claim did not militate against that
acquired rights, for Sec. 45 of the Philippine Bill of 1902 expressly provides that nothing in said Act
shall be deemed to impair any lien which may have attached in any way whatever prior to the
issuance of the patent. Moreover, it is significant to note that the very Lode Patent No. V-24
aforementioned expressly declares on its face that "the mining premises hereby conveyed shall be
held subject to all vested rights and accrued rights, the legal import of which is that the patentee
Marcos Comilang, shall hold the 1-1/2 hectares portion of the area em-braced in the patent as
described in the Tax Declaration No. 4771, in trust for the appellees.

Apart and independent of the statute, there is a rule in American Law known as the "Doctrine of
Relation", to the effect "that all parts and ceremonies necessary to complete a conveyance shall be
taken together as one act, and operate from the substantial part by relation." This "substantial part"
is recognized as the "original act" which is to be preferred, and to this all subsequent acts are to have
relation. This doctrine of relation appears to have been often applied to the adjudication of real
actions by American courts.

The case of Landes v. Brant, 10 How. 348, U. S. 13 Law ed., 449, broadly asserts this doctrine of
relation. In that case, a Spanish claim of land was acquired by Clamorgan under Dodier, the original
claimant, by virtue of ten consecutive years possession prior to December 20, 1903. Such claim was
authorized by the Act of Congress. Clamorgan was entitled to a patent by virtue of a certificate of
confirmation made by commissioners. His petition for such confirmation was filed in December,
1805. In 1808 judgment was recovered against Clamorgan, the claim was sold, and the sheriff's
deed executed to McNair. It was held that the execution sale passed to the purchaser all the title
that could have passed from Clamorgan to McNair by a quitclaim deed; that applying the doctrine of
relation and taking all the parts and ceremonies necessary to complete the title together as one act,
then the confirmation of 1811 and the patent of 1845 must be taken to relate to the first act; that of
filing the claim in 1805. On this assumption, intermediate conveyances made by the confirmee or by
the sheriff on his behalf, of a date after the first substantial act, are covered by the legal title and pass
that title to the alignee. And on this ground, the deed made by the sheriff to McNair is valid. This
doctrine has been applied in a great number of decisions.
Applying the same rule to the case before Us, it is seen that the original act that ripened into Mineral
Lode Patent No. V-24 was the location of the mineral claim and the recording thereof in the Mining
Recorder of Mt. Province sometime in 1922. Vested right to the property accrued to the locator
before 1935, although patent was issued only recently November 7, 1966). This Patent cannot
nullify the intermediate conveyance of that right in the execution sale of 1958 to herein appellees.

Finally, the argument that the proceedings for the issuance of a writ of possession, as has been
resorted to by the appellees, is not the proper court procedure, the appellant intimating that it should
be by a proper action. The contention does not deserve serious consideration. The corresponding
rights of the parties to the property in question had been ventilated in the various cases affecting it,
and the decisions in those cases have sustained the validity of the sale. It is now a matter of right on
the part of the appellees to be placed in pos-session of the land by clear mandate of Sec. 35, Rule 39
of the Rules of Court which requires that upon execution and delivery of the final deed of sale in
execution the possession of the property shall be given to the purchaser or last redemptioner unless a
third party is actually holding the property adversely to the judgment debtor. As this Court said in
Tan Soo Huat v. Ongwico, 63 Phil. 747:

"There is no law in this jurisdiction whereby the purchaser at a sheriff's sale of real property is obliged
to bring a separate and independent suit for possession after the one-year period for redemption has
expired and after he has obtained the sheriff's final certificate of sale. There is neither legal ground
nor reason of public policy precluding the court from ordering the sheriff in this case to yield
possession of the property purchased at public auction where it appears that the judgment debtor is
the one in possession thereof and no rights of third persons are involved."

WHEREFORE, the decision appealed from is affirmed. Costs against appellants.

Concepcion, C.J., Reyes, J.B.L., Dizon, Makalintal, Zaldivar, Sanchez, Castro, and Fernando, JJ., concur.